Sunday, January 24, 2016

Navy Grog

This punch was a pretty daunting task. Faced with the winter season and lack of store-bought ingredients, I went out of my way to make the tamarind syrup necessary to give the sweet, tacky flavor that holds the whole drink together. Without the tamarind syrup, this would be almost too limey to stand. That's what I love about tikis--they are tacky!--and they contain ingredients that most drinkers can't identify by themselves. Many times I've gone to the grocery store to buy fresh guava or tamarinds and the cashier has never seen anybody purchase these things before. By themselves, there's nothing special about the ingredients, but a good tiki brings them together in an instantly recognizable flavor profile and body that is unlike any other type of cocktail.
  • 1 oz. dark rum
  • 1 oz. light rum
  • 1 oz. high proof rum (Bacardi 151 used)
  • 1/2 oz. guava juice
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz. orgeat syrup (from homemade recipe)
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind syrup (homede recipe below)
  • lime slice
Combine all ingredients except lime slice in a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into an intimidating tiki mug. Garnish with the lime slice.

Here's a few quick steps for making the tamarind syrup!
Get a handful of tamarinds; about a quarter pound, a little goes a long way. They are fruits as well as beans, so they may be tricky to locate at the store. Shred the shells and roots away from the pod innards and seeds.

 Boil tamarinds in 1 1/2 cups of water for five minutes and allow to cool for a half hour.
Press the syrup through a strainer using a coffee filter and collect the dissolved fruit in a bowl. Try to squeeze the soft fruit dry, then discard the pulp. Add 1 cup of sugar and whisk until it is dissolved. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.

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